Topiramate can harm an unborn baby by affecting how it grows and develops during pregnancy
(Approximately 4-5 cases per 100 babies – compared with 2-3 cases in general population).
A new study also linked topiramate treatment to increased risk of autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities (effects on learning and development) – exact numbers it could affect is not currently known.
Do not stop taking topiramate without first talking to your doctor.
Anyone who is able to get pregnant should have a pregnancy test before they start topiramate treatment and use effective contraception while taking topiramate.
Topiramate can reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraception in preventing unplanned pregnancy – talk to a healthcare professional about the best contraception for you while you are taking topiramate.
If you are taking topiramate for epilepsy and are planning a pregnancy, urgently talk to your doctor for a specialist review – there are other epilepsy medicines that are not associated with an increased risk of birth defects in pregnancy.
If you are taking topiramate for migraine and planning a pregnancy, talk to your prescriber about alternative treatments that can be used in pregnancy as soon as possible.
Source: Drug Safety Update Medicine & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) 12th July 2022